Haojie He,Wenzhe Wang,Liang Li,Xin Zhang,Hongyan Shi,Jianfei Chen,Da Shi,Mei Xue,Li Feng
J Virol.2023 May 31;e0058923.doi: 10.1128/jvi.00589-23. Online ahead of print.
The inflammasome pathway is a critical early response mechanism of the host that detects pathogens, initiates the production of inflammatory cytokines, and recruits effector cells to the infection site. Nonetheless, the mechanism of inflammasome activation in coronavirus infection and its biological functions in host defense remain unclear. Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), a member of the genus Alphacoronavirus , is a significant pathogen that mainly infects piglets and causes intestinal inflammation and inflammatory cell infiltration. Here, we investigated the mechanism of inflammasome activation in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) infected with TGEV. We observed a substantial increase in interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and IL-18 levels in both IECs and TGEV-infected porcine intestinal tissues. Furthermore, TGEV infection resulted in increased activation of caspase-1 and the NLRP1 (NOD-like receptor [NLR]-containing pyrin domain [PYD]) inflammasome. Our findings revealed that TGEV infection impeded the interaction between porcine NLRP1 (pNLRP1) and porcine dipeptidyl peptidases 9 (pDPP9), yet it did not reduce the expression of pDPP9. Importantly, the ZU5 domain, not the function-to-find domain (FIIND) reported in human NLRP1, was identified as the minimal domain of pNLRP1 for pDPP9 binding. In addition, the robust type I IFN expression induced by TGEV infection also upregulated pNLRP1 expression and pNLRP1 itself acts as an interferon-stimulated gene to counteract TGEV infection. Our data demonstrate that pNLRP1 has antiviral capabilities against coronavirus infection, which highlights its potential as a novel therapeutic target for coronavirus antiviral therapy. IMPORTANCE Coronavirus primarily targets the epithelial cells of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, leading to damage in both humans and animals. NLRP1 is a direct sensor for RNA virus infection which is highly expressed in epithelial barrier tissues. However, until recently, the precise molecular mechanisms underlying its activation in coronavirus infection and subsequent downstream events remained unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that the alphacoronavirus TGEV induces the production of IL-1β and IL-18 and upregulates the expression of pNLRP1. Furthermore, we found that pNLRP1 can serve as an interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) to inhibit the infection of enterovirus TGEV. Our research highlights the crucial role of NLRP1 as a regulator of innate immunity in TGEV infection and shows that it may serve as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of coronavirus infection.
Keywords: DPP9; ISG; NLRP1; TGEV; coronavirus.